Upper Crust: How Billionaires Are Eating Our Democracy

Darrell West warns that the combination of wealth and secrecy is toxic to democracy…

EduShyster: Your book, Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust, makes the forceful – and might I add *hair-raising* – case that today’s brand of billionaire activism is eating our democracy. Break it down for us.

billionaires

Darrell West: I do think that combination is toxic for democracy because voters care as much about the messenger as the message and they want to know who is behind particular advocacy efforts. It matters to them whether an oil company or some other firm is pushing a position on energy. There’s been a tremendous loss of accountability within our political system over several decades. There are Supreme Court decisions that have eroded public disclosure, and there are lots of lobbying activities and other efforts to exercise influence that take place outside of the public view. People should be aware of this and concerned about how it’s affecting our political process. Continue reading →

Whiteface Rulez

Will you help me realize my dream of attending Camp Reform-a-Lot?

Whiteface Lodge - look how nice it looks!

Whiteface Lodge – look how nice it looks!

Reader: it’s a well known fact that nothing thrills me more than the prospect of attending an elite gathering of education reform elites. Which is why when I learned about this all-star camping trip of elite reform all stars, to be held next month at none other than Whiteface Lodge in the Adirondack Mountains, I knew that I had no choice but to go. Alas, there was a problem—actually a great many problems. You see, it turns out that all-star camping is not an inexpensive proposition. And to put students *first class* costs even more. Continue reading →